Bill Booth

Activist, Ohio Board of Elections

If you’re lucky enough to know Bill Booth, you know how committed to service he is. Bill has spent his life serving his fellow Carpenters and Toledo-area union members, his community, and his country. How fitting that, on October 12, Bill was chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The ‘No Greater Good’ organization sponsored the ceremony, as it does on 25-30 special occasions each year. October 12 was the anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

The wreath-laying was “one of the great honors of my life,” Booth said.

A retired member and business representative of UBC Local 351 (formerly 1581) in Toledo, Ohio, Bill is a Viet Nam veteran with deep ties to the military. His grandfather battled in the Argonne Forest during World War I and his father was at Iwo Jima in World War II.

“As I laid the wreath, my thoughts were with them, as well as two of my childhood friends who died in Viet Nam,” Booth said.

But ‘service’ means more than military service for Booth. Since he became a business representative for the Brotherhood in 1982, Bill has been a dedicated political activist, setting an example for his fellow members. He has spoken out in city halls and county commissions, and pounded the pavement for many candidates.

“I had not been politically active before 1982, but I started participating and realized how important politics is—not just for Carpenter issues like prevailing wage, safety, and Workers’ Comp, but for everything that happens in our communities,” Booth said.

“Being politically active became a part of who I am.”

Booth expanded his involvement after retiring in 2000. He served a five-year term on the Ohio Elections Commission, and in 2008 he was appointed to the Henry County Board of Elections, where he still serves.

Booth made the special trip with his entire family, including his wife, Cheryl, their three daughters, and five grandchildren, plus son-in-law Ryan Schwiebert, an active member of Local 351. Before the wreath-laying, the group visited the UBC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters at the foot of Capitol Hill.